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|Sixteen Principal Odu|
Sixteen Principal Afa-du
Ifá is a religion and system of divination and refers to the verses of the literary corpus known as the Odu Ifá. Orunmila is identified as the Grand Priest, as he is who revealed divinity and prophecy to the world. Babalawo's or Iyanifas use either the divining chain known as Opele, or the sacred palm or kola nuts called Ikin, on the wooden divination tray called Opon Ifá.
Ifá is practiced throughout the Americas, West Africa, and the Canary Islands, in the form of a complex religious system, and plays a critical role in the traditions of Santería, Candomblé, Palo, Umbanda, Vodou, and other Afro-American faiths, as well as in some traditional African religions.
The 16 principle system seems to have it earliest history in West Africa. Each Niger-Congo ethnic group has its own myths of origin; Yoruba mythology suggests that it was founded by Orunmila in Ile Ife when he initiated himself and then he initiated his students, Akoda and Aseda. Other myths suggest that it was brought to Ile Ife by Setiu, a Nupe man who settled in Ile Ife. Igbo mythology suggests that Dahomey Kings noted that the system of Afá was brought by a diviner known as Gogo from eastern Nigeria.
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